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Appeal: Armley refugee support group faces funding crisis

A major provider of support to refugees and asylum seekers in Armley is facing a serious funding crisis and possible closure.

The Meeting Point project was started in 2003 by members of Christ Church, who saw large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers moving into the area who were isolated and unable to navigate their way through life.

Vicar, the Reverend Arani Sen, said the project is struggling to secure funds and to pay its three supporters workers. He has appealed for financial help to keep the service going. He said:

“Despite the obvious help Meeting Point gives to so many, obtaining funding is now very difficult and if sufficient funds aren’t secured within the next six months the project will regrettably be forced to close.

“Due to the size of the project we need to employ three members of staff, working alongside a large volunteer base.”

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He said activities include a weekly drop-in providing hot food, clothing and food parcels, a help desk, IT, English classes, health support, children’s activities and sport.

There’s also a thriving women’s group where women learn new skills and develop new friendships across cultural barriers.

Rev Sen added that the service was an important lifeline for the area:

“Very often beneficiaries arrive having experienced trauma in their home countries, religious or political persecution, war, trafficking and many other social evils.”

Current funders are listed on Meeting Point’s website as: Evan Cornish Foundation, Church Urban Fund, Leeds Christian Community Trust, The Church and Community Fund, Joseph Rank Trust and Scurrah Wainwright.

Can you help?

Contact Rev Arani Sen, Vicar of Christ Church, Upper Armley on arani_sen@hotmail.com or telephone 0113 263 8788 or Emma Crossley, Meeting Point Project Manager on emma.c@ccacp.org.uk or telephone 0113 279 6700.

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